The temperature fell to freezing overnight but it warmed up quickly and the day was quite pleasant. When we went out in the morning people were bundled up and some even wore gloves but by the time we ate lunch at 2:00 or so, everyone was carrying their jackets.
I thought of today as a very touristy day, but on reflection, I’m not sure how it was different from the other days of our trip. It’s odd, but when we were in Jerez I didn’t think of the activities like the bodega tour and our visit to the museum as “tourist-y” and the same was true in Seville. I think it might be the overall level of activity that is different.
Today, we did some laundry before we left the house. That sounds mundane, but there are always complications that make doing mundane things on the road a little ore adventuresome. We headed a little uphill so that we could have a more gradual walk down towards Plaza Nueva. Well, I thought of it as a “little uphill,” but towards the end Patricia did not agree. One of the reasons we went that way was to see if the store Inori was open today, as its website said it was. You may remember that we looked for the store the other day and it was mysteriously closed. It was closed again with no indication that it will ever open.
We planned to go to the Granada Archaeological Museum first thing, but it was warming up nicely so as we walked along the Carrera del Darro (the street that runs beside the Darro River) we decided to stop for a little something at one of the outdoor restaurants that line the way. We managed to pick the one with the most limited of menus so after a cup of café con leche and no food, we went to the museum.
The archaeology museum is housed in a palace that was built starting in 1539. It displays only a small part of Granada’s archaeology collection. The building itself has been well-restored inside and the exhibits are carefully curated and labeled. Unusually, the English explanations are very good and not just simple translations of the Spanish. Given the limited space the museum has done a good job of covering a wide range of time: the oldest exhibit was from 1.4 million years ago, and the most recent was from 1492.
There was good coverage of the Phoenician, Punic, and Roman periods. I liked how each area had an explanation of how the different eras impacted daily life, political organization, city structures, and so on.
The main courtyard of the museum has a wonderful view of the Alhambra. My guess is that it was designed that way almost 500 years ago—when the Alhambra was already more than 500 years old. A lot of the new buildings in the Albaicín district are older than the oldest buildings in Santa Fe.
Now it was time for some real food. We walked back up the Carrera del Darro and found a place that had what looked to be a good menu. But now everyone was eating lunch. We stood at the edge of the restaurant looking for a empty table, but could not find one. A hostess asked if we wanted to eat and she could not find an empty table, so she went and got a table and set it up for us in a nice location. We ordered a little too much food which is always a temptation when there so may appealing dishes. Only Patricia’s fried calamari was a disappointment. [I’ll never know good from bad calamari because I have no intention of ever trying it.]
After lunch we walked towards Plaza Nueva, although “walked” might not be the right word. Along the Carrera del Darro down to the Plaza, the road is bound on one side by a wall above the river. On the other side are all the shops, churches, hotels, and a few tourist traps. The road itself is just about wide enough for a single car plus a person—if they turn sideways. On Saturdays and Sundays there are many people and cars, and bikes, and motorcycle all vying for the Sam limited space. So one does not “walk” so much as “dodge” one’s way to the Plaza. I am surprised we have never seen an accident along the way.
On a warm afternoon, after a big meal, there is only one thing to do: have ice cream. That is what we did. We got cups of ice cream and grabbed a couple of places in the sun on a bench on the plaza before walking back to the apartment.
See what I mean about “tourist-y?”
Tonight we went to a flamenco espectáculo at La Alborea. It was a nice venue and we had good seats. The performance was very good. We had not seen any of the artists before and we were positively impressed. An added plus was that we were allowed to take pictures during the performance as long as no flash was used. A still isn’t going to capture the energy and sound, but it is better than nothing. The performers were Eva Esquivel and Luis de Luis (bailaores), Rudy Fernández (cante), and César Cubero (toque). That was our
last flamenco performance in Granada.
I usually buy tickets for these performances online and I select by the reviews, the location, and the time so there is always some risk. Thus far, the shows we have seen in Triana, Seville, and now, Granada have all been high quality and of the type we both like.